Truly Unique Birthday Party Ideas

Stephanie M. Kelley
celebrating birthday party

Everyone has birthdays, but you don't have to have a party just like everyone else. Infuse some new ideas into your annual birthday celebration with these unique birthday theme, decoration, food, and favor ideas.

Wise Old Owl

A "Wise Old Owl" theme is perfect for celebrating a senior citizen's birthday. Celebrate the wisdom they've gained over the years, rather than their age, by decorating your party area with wise looking owls!

  • pink Owl
    Use owl-themed table ware such as plates and tablecloth.
  • Be sure to play games such as "Whooooo Knows the Birthday Boy/Girl Best?" by asking a series of a fun trivia questions about the guest of honor and seeing who can answer the most correctly.
  • Have a table with owl coloring pages for grandchildren to color at the party.
  • If your senior citizen is active, consider hosting the party at a nature center and having someone come give a talk about owls to the group. Alternatively, hire someone to come to your location with an owl and speak with people throughout the party.
  • Making a yarn pom pom owl is a fun activity for all ages.
  • Have a small bites buffet of the birthday person's favorite foods and serve a cake decorated with an owl theme to top off the party.
  • Owl tea candles are a nice gift for older guests that also double as easy décor (just discard packaging prior to putting them out). Younger guests might like a small stuffed owl or owl lollipop as a favor.

A Hipster Happy Birthday

Use the hipster culture as a springboard for a modern party theme.

  • Friends in photo booth
    Decorate your party venue with a mustache garland, chalkboards with chalk and display the birthday person's age with foil balloons. Marquee letters are also a good way to write out the guest of honor's name or initials.
  • Provide a photo booth with hipster themed items such as bow ties or photo props.
  • Print off close-up photos of celebrity mustaches and create a board called, "Guess the Mustache." Number the photos and allow guests to try to guess who the mustache belongs to. Award a prize to the winner or winners.
  • Serve local draft beer (if guests are over 21), hire a food truck provide the munchies, and serve gluten-free cupcakes with bow tie or glasses toppers.
  • Send guests home with this hipster inspired favor box filled with fake mustaches, candy, and a hipster keychain.

Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles

Who doesn't love bubbles? This party is probably best for toddlers or pre-school aged children, but could be adapted to fit any age group, including adults (think: Champagne!).

  • girl blowing bubbles
    Decorate liberally with large, round, clear bubble-like balloons. Use a needle to put a transparent string through the tied-off end of the balloons to create a garland of "bubbles." You can also fill them with helium and group them in corners of the venue.
  • A bubble machine will fill the air with lots of bubbles to play with and pop. For even more fun, fill a kiddie pool with bubbly water and allow guests to make huge bubbles with hula-hoops.
  • Making your own bubble solution is also a good activity for science-minded kids and adults alike.
  • Serve pop or fizzy juice - and Champagne cocktails for an adult party - to drink along with some bubble shaped food like donut holes and cake pops. Serve individual sized round pizzas to mimic the shape of bubbles.
  • Send guests home with small bottles of bubbles, bubble bath, and some bubble gum. Send the adults home with fun Champagne bubble bath bottles.

Birthday Bacon

A bacon party is the perfect match for anyone who loves that crispy breakfast goodness. This party is great for the man in your life, but can be adjusted to fit other guests of honor.

Location and Decorations

Hold party in a barn for a funny nod as to where bacon comes from and add the following:

  • Decorate the party area with bacon garland. Cut bacon shaped pieces out of pink paper and paint white lines on them and attach to some twine for hanging.
  • Roll printed paper bacon strips (check your local craft or scrapbooking store for paper) to look like rose buds and attach them to flower stems to create a bouquet.
  • Set some small pink stuffed pigs around the venue.

Food Options

heart-shaped bacon

Serve guests bacon, of course! Serve hamburgers with bacon on top, or shape your bacon pieces into heart shapes before frying for a unique look. For dessert, consider serving maple bars with a strip of bacon on top or have some candy bacon on top of a sheet cake.

Activities and Favors

Try one of these fun activities:

  • Play "Capture the Pig." Play by the same rules as capture the flag, but instead of the team trying to capture the other team's flag, they are trying to capture the other team's small stuffed pig.
  • Have a bacon tasting contest, by asking players to try to guess what type of bacon they are eating. Offer a variety of different bacon including turkey bacon and bacons from around the world.
  • Ask a friend to wear a bacon costume and pose for pictures with guests.

Send guests home with this bacon-themed favor box. Be sure to fill it with bacon-flavored candy and some socks that look like strips of bacon.

What a Mess!

Kids love to get messy! Some adults do, too. Make the birthday boy's or girl's day by having a messy birthday party. Be sure to indicate on the invitation that guests should arrive in old clothing that can get stained and damaged. Be sure to host your party outside to help contain the mess. Have plenty of paper towels, some safety goggles, and maybe a hose on hand to help with clean-up.

  • girl having fun at a party
    Put some colored water inside of balloons and have a messy water balloon fight. You could also fill squirt guns with colored water for a lively water gun battle.
  • Fill your above ground swimming pool or kiddy pool with foam, Jell-O, or mud and invite guests to play around in the gooey goodness. having a tug-of-war over it is a great plan, since the losing team will get pulled into the big mess!
  • Have a food fight with cream pies and/or whipped cream!
  • Serve equally messy finger foods like mini nachos with cheese cause and single-serve pudding with some yucky gummy worms inside. Also serve spaghetti that - of course - has to be eaten without utensils.
  • Send guests home with something messy like finger paints, or send them home with washcloth, fancy soap, small sanitizer or other items they can use to help clean up the mess from the party.

Special Sprinkles

Sprinkles are so colorful and festive which makes it the perfect theme for a variety of ages, from children to young adults. You can hold this type of party in your own home, but for something extra special, find a bakery you can rent out or who will possibly give you a brief tour of their kitchen.

  • Donut Decorated With Stars
    Use a white tablecloth to cover your food table and add colorful confetti to look like sprinkles. Hang sprinkle-themed balloons around your party area for a festive look. Put white or colorful silk flowers into a clear vase and instead of using water or marbles to fill the bottom, fill the vase with sprinkles for a colorful look.
  • If you're hosting at a bakery, have the head chef provide a demonstration on different ways to decorate cupcakes or cakes with sprinkles. At home, you can put out sprinkles and stencils so guests can create their own cupcakes!
  • Be sure to serve food with a lot of sprinkles such a donuts and cookies; this type of party lends itself well to a dessert bar or buffet. You could even have a cupcake decorating station where guests can use a wide variety of sprinkles to decorate pre-baked cupcakes. Serve them on sprinkled paper plates.
  • If you want to serve birthday cake, create the birthday person's first initials by setting a cookie cutter in the shape of the letter of their first name on top of a cake, then add sprinkles to the inside of the cookie cutter. Remove the cookie cutter to reveal the initial made out of sprinkles.
  • Provide sprinkle-theme party hats for guests to wear during the festivities. Small bottles of sprinkles, tied with a pretty ribbon could make for a nice favor.

Graffiti Artist Theme

Adding graffiti to public spaces is not right (and illegal), but in a controlled situation, graffiti art can be quite beautiful. If you are hosting a party for a young adult with an edgy personality, this might the theme for you.

Basics of the Party

Get started with these ideas:

  • Graffiti
    Use a graffiti font to create invitations. You can also use this same font to create a happy birthday banner or any other written materials you will need for the party.
  • Host the party in a grungy basement or empty city building (with a permit and written permission for your plans). If there is all ready graffiti on the walls, all the better, but if not, cover the walls with large photos of graffiti.
  • Use graffiti-themed plates to serve party food such as pizza and snacks. Serve the birthday boy or girls favorite foods, too, and label them with cards made in the same font used for the invitations.

Create Graffiti

Depending on where the party is hosted, you have several options for creating graffiti as the main activity. Make your choice based on the restrictions for the location and the guest list.

  • Tape large sheets of fabric or paper onto walls and provide paint (tempra is a good choice) so guests can create their own masterpieces. Take pictures of the creations. You can also provide music and ample space where guests can dance around the works of art. Or have the guests write greetings and messages to the birthday boy or girl on the fabric.
  • If you have children at your party, let them in on the fun by providing silly string aerosol cans for them. They can spray their silly string against the wall to mimic the process of painting with spray paint.
  • If you would rather let them use real paint (best done at home or in an area set up with sheeting), provide plastic spoons and allow guests to put paint on the spoon and throw the paint towards paper taped to the wall. This will be a fun way for those who don't consider themselves artistic to participate in the festivities.
  • If you want to have a more controlled environment, consider providing canvases and spray paints in a variety of color that guests can use to create their own masterpieces. Have an art contest, judged by the birthday boy or girl, and award a prize.

Slime Factory

Every kid under the age of twelve (and some much older) are making slime out of household ingredients. This passion is a great inspiration for a fun, yet messy party. Because of the sticky nature of this party, it is best hosted in the backyard and with adult supervision.

Make Slime

slime

Provide several of your favorite slime recipes, typed on sheets of paper or posted in the party area. You will also have to provide the ingredients needed too. These ingredients include detergent, glue, shaving cream, and borax, depending on the type(s) of slime you will be creating.

It's also smart to provide hand-wipes, aprons, bowls, spoons, food coloring and measuring cups. You might want to instruct guests to wear old clothes instead of typical party outfits.

Complete the Theme

Round out the party by doing the following:

  • Hide small items (small toys, balls, coins or other small items) inside a giant ball of slime. Let guests take turns looking for the small items in the slime. You can either have them find one item and then pass the slime to the next player, or you can see who can find all the items in the shortest time. Winners can receive a prize.
  • Make some slimy food options. Consider oysters (or oyster soup), stewed okra or steamed cabbage, and of course, Jell-O! Be sure to round out the slimy options with some kid-friendly menu favorites.
  • Send guests home with sandwich bags full of their slime creations or small containers with ingredients to make more.

Party Pooper

Love it or cringe at it, the poop emoji is what your kids are talking about. Embrace this trend with a Party Pooper theme party.

  • surprise gift
    Decorate your home or party area with all the poop emojis you have collected or buy some fun party decorations. You can incorporate yellow, smiling emojis into your decor too. If you want to save some money on decor, simply cut a poop emoji shape out of paper and add some paper eyes for wall decorations.
  • For entertainment, shower guests with candy and treats with a poop pinata or play "Pin the Poop in the Potty" game.
  • Pick up cheap toilet seats; paint a poop emoji in the center and then have guests paint a party scene around the emoji. Hang them up to dry and they serve triple duty: décor, activity, and favor!
  • Fill guests' tummies with mashed potatoes and brown gravy, beef stew, brownies, and emoji cupcakes.
  • Fill brown goodie bags with candy, a whoopee cushion and small emoji figures for guests to take home.

Princess and the Pea

Having a slumber party? Your birthday girl will love this unique theme based on the children's story The Princess and the Pea. Of course, she doesn't have to be a child to appreciate this theme. Even older teens can enjoy this whimsical story and party. It's a unique spin on traditional princess parties.

  • The princess on a Pea
    Send an invitation that lets guests know about the theme. Remember to word the invitation carefully and ask them to bring their pajamas and over night toiletries or medications. Also remember to get emergency contact information in case of any late night trouble.
  • Decorate your party area with green streamers, balloons and other decorations. You can also hang these green paper lanterns around the party room to resemble peas. Cover tables with beautiful quilts and toss a few pillows on there, to represent the "bed" that the princess can't fall asleep on.
  • Keep the party-goers busy with a pillow or blanket stacking race; the last one with the stack standing after a certain period of time wins. Another fun activity is to hide a single plastic pea in large buckets of cheap rice or other grains. The first person to find the pea wins a prize.
  • Serve split pea soup or any type of pea recipe. You might also want to serve other green foods. Serve a sheet cake that resembles a bed with quilt and pillows. Tint the cake batter with green food coloring.
  • Send guests home with sleeping masks, crowns so they can feel like a princess any time they want - and include a bag of wasabi peas.

Come Up With Your Own Unique Theme

Selecting the proper theme can be difficult, but with some thought and imagination, you will find the right fit. Consider the birthday boy's or girl's current favorites and see if you could turn it into a party theme; it doesn't have to be something you find in the party supply store. Keep the interest of the guest of honor in mind and you will have a memorable celebration.

Truly Unique Birthday Party Ideas